Volker Springel, head of the Theoretical Astrophysics group (TAP) at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), accepted the offer to become director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching near Munich. He will start his new position in August 2018. HITS congratulates him on this career step: “Our concept bears fruit to provide brilliant young researchers with an environment to become even better and move on.”
“This is a big success for Volker, but also for HITS as a research institute”, says Michael Strube, HITS´ Scientific Director. “To become director of a Max Planck Institute is the most prestigious position for a scientist in Germany. Even internationally it cannot get much better.”
To coordinate the change between Heidelberg and Garching, Volker Springel has received a partial appointment at the MPA since October 1, 2017. He and his group will continue to pursue their research at HITS until the end of July 2018.
The astrophysicist Prof. Volker Springel has designed and carried out the largest and most comprehensive computer simulations of the universe, including the Millennium Simulation in 2005, and the “Illustris” simulation, which is the most detailed computer simulation of galaxy formation and was published in the journal “Nature” in 2014.
He has been leader of the “Theoretical Astrophysics” research group at HITS since March 2010, and at the same time being professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Heidelberg University. At HITS, he developed the “Arepo” software which enabled scientists to simulate a wide range of galaxy shapes and sizes with supercomputers.
“I was taking a risk when I moved to the then new, still unknown HITS in March 2010”, Volker Springel says. “But it was really worth it. The offer to become Max Planck director is a great proof of quality also for HITS. If you do research here, you will be able to take even bigger steps in your scientific career.”
HITS congratulates Volker Springel to this achievement. “We are happy to see that our concept bears fruit”, says Michael Strube. “One of HITS’ goals has always been to attract brilliant young scientists, to provide them with an environment to become even better, and then let them move on.”
The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.